During summer camp, most Rays players were asked whether or not they thought a World Series title would be marked with an asterisk in this shortened 2020 season. One by one, the players responded with a resounding “no” but also added that they should reach the playoffs beforehand.
During summer camp, most Rays players were asked whether or not they thought a World Series title would be marked with an asterisk in this shortened 2020 season. One by one, the players responded with a resounding “no” but also added that they would have to reach the playoffs before they allowed themselves to think this far.
With a 10-6 win in Game 2 of Thursday’s seven-inning doubles game against the Orioles at Camden Yards, the Rays accomplished one of their goals for the season: to earn back-to-back playoff appearances for the second time. of franchise history (with 2010 and ’11).
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Since 2008, the Rays have six playoff appearances, behind only the Dodgers (10), Yankees (8) and Cardinals (7).
“It means a lot,” manager Kevin Cash said. “I can’t imagine being a player in today’s game with what happened, the challenges, what was on their plate. A Strange Season is as good as you can sum it up. Give these guys a lot of credit for the way they’ve run their business, found ways to win games every night, and now we want to build as much momentum as we can before the playoffs.
Landing a playoff berth this season didn't include a big celebration on the field, a clubhouse party or Willy Adames dancing all over the place. But the Rays still had a lot to celebrate after having already overcome a lot of adversity in that 60-game regular season. • What happens next? Playoff FAQs The Rays have lost five pitchers to late-season injuries and at one point had 13 key players on the injured list. After starting the year 5-7, Tampa Bay established themselves as one of the best teams in the American League. That's what Cash told the team in a post-game speech at the visiting clubhouse. “It's a crazy season, something that certainly hasn't happened before in baseball history,” said Rays infielder Mike Brosseau. “So under the circumstances, it's kind of cool to know that a team has come together under these protocols and what's going on in the world and come together and played well enough to get us into the playoffs. . • How they got there: Rays enter the playoffs "I knew that with the talent that we have here, we could do some amazing things," said Adames. “Today, the work we have done has paid off. It feels really good and I'm so excited for the team. I'm just glad we are going back [to the postseason] this year, and I hope we can go all the way and win it all.The Rays offense had a much needed breakout performance in Game 2 of Twin Bill. The Tampa Bay roster had been calm in recent weeks, but it got great contributions from several struggling hitters in the win, especially Adames, who pulled off the win four times in Game 1. Adames opened the scoring in Game 2 with a three-run homer in the first inning against Orioles left-hander Bruce Zimmermann, who was making his first career start. In order for the Rays to make some noise in the playoffs, they'll likely need their star shortstop to hit. “We don't do anything without Willy producing the way he's capable,” Cash said. "Willy liked it, the dugout was pumped up when he did it, because he's one of those guys who if you don't like Willy Adames you have to check yourself out and look at yourself in the mirror." He's such a nice guy and you want to see him succeed, and it's been a big hit in the game.Hunter Renfroe hit a solo homerun in the third, which is another good sign for Tampa Bay. Joey Wendle had a two-run homerun in the fourth, while the Rays broke a 6-6 draw with a four-run rally in the fifth, with Nate Lowe's RBI single placing them in the lead. Now that Tampa Bay has clinched one of the AL's eight playoff spots, the club will be looking to achieve another goal. When the Rays returned to St. Petersburg from their loss in Game 5 to the Astros in last year's AL Division Series, they spoke about the importance of winning the AL East in 2020. With nine games to be played in the regular season, Tampa Bay has put itself in a good position to potentially achieve that goal. The Rays have a 3-1 / 2 game lead over the Yankees, and the magic number to secure their first AL East crown since 2010 is now six. “This is the first step,” Adames said. “Like I said at the start of the season everyone has the same luck, and for us to be there at the top means a lot to everyone in the clubhouse and to our families. We have to keep winning the division, and I know it will be special if we win it.Juan Toribio covers the shelves for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @juanctoribio.